Arts & Culture
by Aspect County

West End Ways

Set in the heart of beautiful, historic Smarden, West End House is a contemporary gallery showing original artworks including paintings, prints, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery and glass. It is run by two local artists, Karen Papworth and Patricia Hawkins.The gallery space itself is friendly and inviting and open to all, with inspiring work for sale to suit all budgets. 

Patricia (Pia) specialises in fused glass and had previously exhibited her work at West End House. Karen (Spike) had graduated from Kingston with a First in Fine Art. When the previous gallery owners were looking for new people to take over, Patricia and Karen, both looking for a change of career, decided it was time to use their art training and take on a brand new challenge. The rest, as they say, is history and eleven years later they have made the gallery their own, have the privilege of taking part in The Affordable Art Fair in London each year and share the absolute delight of selling artworks on behalf of their artists to discerning customers. 

The gallery holds two to three themed exhibitions a year and, at all other times, has an eclectic mixed display showcasing work by gallery artists and makers. West End House is proud to represent a large group of artists, most of whom are local, but some are from slightly further afield, including a sculptor from the North of Sweden. 

Laurance Simon, Uneasy Truce, ceramic lidded box, 24x16cm, £275

Owners, Karen and Patricia say Sourcing work is one of the most enjoyable parts of running the gallery and studio visits are always a joy and an inspiration. To be invited into an artist’s working space is a privilege and to come away with work is always the cherry on the cake.” 

They are currently in the process of planning events for this year. As well as exhibitions, these will include artist demonstration days, which are always extremely popular, and a series of classes across different disciplines. Information will be available on the website and social media soon. Their spring show is currently up and running. 

Paul Jackson Enamel Jug

Paul Jackson, Enamel Jug, oil on board, 45x38cm, £595

The gallery is delighted to be part of Own Art, a national scheme that makes buying contemporary art and craft affordable by providing interest-free credit for the purchase of original work by living artists. Own Art is accessible to everyone, and the aim is to reduce the financial barriers and perceptions of elitism that commonly exist within the art market. 

West End House won the Best Art Gallery in Kent award at the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2021. Following a tough eighteen months, this came as a lovely surprise and is testament to the support the gallery receives locally, in Smarden, and the surrounding areas. 

Jane Muir Bird Head

Jane Muir, Bird Head, ceramic, 60x22cm, £980

Melvyn Evans, Fish and Nets, linocut, 40x50cm, £250